Apr 16, 2008

A little more blogging on Oliver M. Johnston, Jr.

Of course with the passing of a now-legendary artist like Ollie Johnston the blogosphere as expected is filling up with tributes and ponderings of all kinds. If you read this blog you're bound to visit Cartoon Brew on a regular basis; they've just posted a lovely essay by Brad Bird that must be read.

Jaime Weinman writes a blog dealing with pop culture-entertainment that's one of the very best and most knowledgeable anywhere. I can't remember how I first found his site, but he writes often about animation and seems to have an archive of info at his fingertips(and I don't just mean Google).

To mark the loss of Ollie Johnston he's reproduced something I suspect Ollie would really love people to read: an article from the LA times about Ollie's backyard scale train--from 1956! Interestingly--although one would think it would be a great little tidbit of information--the fact that Ollie was a Disney animator isn't mentioned though Walt himself is, due to his purchase of trains for then-new Disneyland. One wonders if Walt himself was present at the "clambake" get-together the paper describes. Probably not, but you never know--if he was, he might well have asked not to be mentioned, as he'd have been enjoying his own off-hours personal hobby. But that's just wild speculation.

Read it here.

I also recommend a visit to Michael Barrier's reminiscence of Ollie(you might have to scroll down a bit). The photos taken with Frank and Ollie at Barrier's home in 1977 are priceless as time machines(if you've lived long enough to remember 1977).


Eaton said...

I'm new to this and just happened across your blog. I tried to check out Cartoon Brew, but your link leads into the void.

Jenny Lerew said...

Thanks for the heads up--it was a weird glitch, alright. I've fixed it.

Anonymous said...

I only recently became aware of Oliver Johnston - I discovered him by watching the "making of" the new release of Jungle Book. There is a lovely interview with him and Frank Thomas on there. They had such a joy in their work.